DAYTONA BEACH — Basketball great Grant Hill will be the special guest at The News-Journal Best of Preps on Tuesday night in the Ocean Center.

The Best of Preps honors Volusia and Flagler high school athletes who were named to all-area first and second teams during the course of the 2017-2018 school year as well as naming the Athletes, Coach, Team and even Mascot of the Year.

Hill, 45, who had a stellar college career under coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, played 18 years in the NBA, including a seven-year stint with the Orlando Magic.

After retiring as a player in 2013, Grant has remained extremely busy as vice chairman of the Atlanta Hawks, while dabbling in private equity and working as a basketball analyst for Turner Sports.

Hill said there is a lot of similarity between team sports and the business world.

“If you go into a locker room, you can tell if there is a winning environment by the way the players prepare and interact with each other,” Hill said in a recent phone interview.

“And so you want to bring that connectivity to anything you do. There are things I learned as a player, such as teamwork, that you can apply to real world situations.”

Hill was an all-area player when he played at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia. He was recruited by every major college program in the country.

“High school sports were a lot different almost 30 years ago,” Hill said. “One of the things I was fortunate to experience and I hope they (local prep athletes) are as well, is having balance in your life.

“The idea of committing and sacrificing and certainly applying yourself in your sport, but also being involved with school along with a healthy and responsible social life, creates a well-rounded person. I think those are the traits you want to take from your high school years.”

Hill had a knack for the game along with God-given athletic ability. He said he constantly worked to better his game through college and at the professional level.

Hill took Duke to the NCAA basketball championship final three times in his four years playing for “Coach K.”

The Blue Devils won the title in 1991-92, but lost to Arkansas in 1994 when Hill was a senior.

Hill was drafted by the Detroit Pistons and when he became a free agent, signed with the Magic, where he was dogged by injury.

He played only four games in his first year (2000-01) and missed the entire 2003-04 season.

After his lost season, he played nine more years in the NBA and was recently named to the NBA Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.

Hill knows he will be addressing hundreds of student-athletes, some who will continue to play their chosen sport in college, and others who may go on from there.

“Many will be fortunate to continue playing their sport in college, some may be like me and play and compete for a living up to 40 years of age,” Hill said. “In my case, even retiring as a player when I was 40, there is still life to live and things to do and accomplish.

“The foundation that sports affords you, such as teamwork, discipline and collective responsibility; those are the things that you can take with you as you deal with life in general. Those sound principles will apply to anything.”

Jamie Brown, marketing and events director at The News-Journal, said all the selected athletes are able to attend the event free of charge, thanks to the Best of Preps sponsors. The event includes red carpet photos, an awards presentation and dinner.

Tickets are still available. You may order tickets online at newsjournalevents.com/vfpreps.